Sunday, March 21, 2010
How I Spent the First Day of Spring!
So, you only thought it was spring, right? :o) This picture was taken yesterday afternoon on the Cherohala Skyway near the North Carolina and Tennessee Borders. This is one of our favorite 'longer' day trips, and it was part of our day yesterday. But let me start at the beginning . . .
We knew the weather was supposed to be glorious Saturday, so we planned ahead - me pickng up a few picnicking items and hubby working his few hours of Saturday time during the week. We got up, loaded the car and headed out a little before 9 am - not hubby's hoped for 7:30, but he wasn't up by 7:30. So there!
Anyway we stopped at Mickey D's and picked up coffee and breakfast, and headed north above Jasper and cut across to Hwy 411 north and kept on trucking. Straight up to Chatsworth, Georgia where we found a Flea Market and stopped for a while. I got a few treasures, but I'll tell you more about them in another post later. Then we headed on north into Tennessee.
Somewhere between Cleveland and Athens we saw a sign that pointed to the Cherokee National Forest and parks on the Hiawassee and Ocoee rivers. We took the road which was paved for a way, then it became graveled. There were potholes galore, but otherwise it wasn't a bad road. There were people parked on both sides of the river fishing, other folks walking on the railroad tracks that ran parallel to the road and the river for a while, and people on horseback. It wasn't crowded, but there were other people there.
But we kept on riding. Eventually the railroad tracks and the river turned right and the road turned left, but we kept along. Eventually we saw one campsite on the roadside, and then crossed a small stream and there were two more campsites. We pulled up to #2 and since no one was there, had our picnic lunch in the fork of Spring Creek and a small stream.
It was wonderful, it was perfect, it was magical! We even looked up one time and here came a young man riding his horse right up the middle of Spring Creek. As he came ashore and went around us I asked him where the road we were on went he said it would end soon and if you took a right it would take you to where the big landslide was or if you went left it would take you to Tellico Plains We are familiar with Tellico Plains, so that's how we went. Here is a slide show of pics from the area where we had our lunch . . .
We hope to take out our old tent and go up there for a weekend some time this summer. There is no water, no electricity and no 'facilities', so it will be interesting. It's been many a year since I did that kind of camping!
Oh, and as we were getting into the car to head back up the gravel road I asked hubby what time it was. He looked at his watch and said "one thirty two, why" and I said "Happy Spring!" How special that we caught the beginning of spring right at that moment at such a special place. And it just added another memory for us to remember years from now.
We headed up to Tellico Plains, TN and made our way onto the Cherohala Skyway - a parkway that rides the ridge across the Cherokee National Forest (TN) and Nantahala National Forest (NC) and is absolutely gorgeous! The views are just magnificent! We've been from both directions (NC to TN and TN to NC) but we really like the route from Tellico Plains best. We were riding along and I started seeing something shining, glinting up in the mountains and I asked Wayne if it was snow and he said no, probably just some lingering ice on the rocks Uh, wrong!
We stopped at this pullover . . .
so I could get a few pictures. It was definitely cooler - of course down on the lower elevations it was 70-ish and up there it was probably upper 50's, but the wind was blowing cold off of that snow!
Have you ever wondered where the 'Blue Ridge' or the 'Great Smokies' got their names??? Well, wonder no longer!
The mountains have a gorgeous smokiness and blue color to them, and that is how those areas got their names!
Anyway, we finished up the Skyway in Robbinsville, NC and headed for Franklin, then on down to Hwy 441 into Georgia. As we drove, it was getting into late afternoon and our usual topic is 'where do you want to stop for dinner'. This night it was a no brainer! The Dillard House in Dillard, Georgia!
If you've never been there, or heaven forbid never heard of it, the Dillard House serves wonderful southern country cooking 'family style' in their huge dining room. When you sit down at the table there is usually already an assortment of 'extras' on your table. Last night we had horseradish sauce (for the roast beef), barbecue sauce (for the smoked chicken), cabbage slaw, tomato, cucumber and onion salad, jelly, and pepper rellish (my favorite!). Then they take your drink order, bring you a basket of breads (corn muffins, biscuits, cheese biscuits, rolls, etc.) and then here comes the food. All served in serving bowls, and there is plenty! We had smoked chicken, fried chicken, roast beef and country ham. And a ton of veggies including a 'loaded baked potato' casserole, cabbage casserole, sweet potato souffle, creamed corn, baby carrots, green beans, and I don't know what else! It was so good, and we topped it off with dessert - coconut cream pie for hubby and blackberry cobbler with ice cream for me - so good!
We pretty much moaned the rest of the way home! And didn't get home until after 8:30 pm - a full day, and a wonderful day! We talked and chatted and enjoyed talking about memories we've shared in the last 25 or so years. A beautiful day, and a wonderful way to start this new spring season! Blessings folks, Becky